ARTICLE GUIDELINES # Presentation # Diving # Best dive sites # Accommodation # Get to Balicasag # My review
Balicasag is one of those small preserved islands where the coral has remained intact and where marine life is abundant. I did not know Balicasag, but all my fellow instructors in the Philippines told me to go. Well, I was not disappointed, just beautiful !!
Background: After working 2 months as an instructor at Malapascua, I wanted to do the best diving of the Visayas (Moalboal, Apo Island, Donsol, Apo reef ...) and I spent 2 weeks on Panglaofrom where I went to dive in Balicasag.
PRESENTATION OF BALICASAG IN BOHOL
- Balicasag is a little off Panglao south west of Bohol.
- It's a marine reserve with a maximum of divers allowed per day.
- The island is inhabited by a 100th of local families, mostly fishermen.
- Only one resort on the islandBalicasag island diving resort.
- The easiest way to get there is since Panglao, about 30 minutes by boat.
- The day tours are at the day for 2 or 3 dives.
- All centers go there everyday.
DIVING IN BALICASAG
As always, it's hard to compare, it always depends on your experience, your level and your expectations. I give you my impressions by having made more than 1000 dives and having become demanding ...
# Schools of barracudas, turtles, beautiful coral and macro!
From what I could observe during my 3 months in the Philippines, the most beautiful dives of Bohol and even of all the Visayas of the east (with Apo island) are in Balicasag.
There is a lot of life, it's teeming with fish everywhere, damsels, angelfish fish, surgeon fish, butterfly fish ....
A huge school of jacks walks around the island, often to Black forest, But not all the time…
Not shy turtles are present all around the island, mainly to Black drills.
The coral is splendid, varied, colorful and healthy.
Many macro : frogfish, nudibranchs, seahorses ...
# Balicasag diving video
BALICASAG BOHOL DIVE SITES
# Balicasag dive sites map
Balicasag owns 5 dive sites, the best known being Black Forest.
The island is surrounded a wall / slope that goes down to 40m.
From the shallow end to the wall, you find a beautiful coral garden.
The island is not big, so if there is some currentyou start at one site and often end up early in the middle of seeing another one!
# Balicasag best dive sites
- Black forest
Do not miss Black Forest! This is probably the'one of the best sites I've done in the Philippines (with Monad shoal for fox sharks sure Malapascua or Manta bowl to Donsol for the whale sharks). An exceptional life along this slope, snapper benches and of fusilier, napoleons, grouper, batfish ... Huge green turtles are also always around. It's called "black forest" because of the abundance of its black coral. It's simple, I spent all my diving to film and take pictures and it had been a long time since that happened!
- Sanctuary / Richo's wall
This site starts with a beautiful coral garden in shallow waters (from 7 to 11m) where I could cross clownfish, nudibranchs, damsels, moorish idols, angels fish .... At the end of the coral garden, we find the wall that goes down to about 40m. Drifting along the wall, I could see snappers, jacks, surgeons, riflemen, moray eels, barracudas…
- Rudy's wall
Rudy's rock is very similar to Rico's wall. You will normally be more likely to encounter green turtles.
In addition to beauty of his coral and the abundance of fish like all Balicasag sites, the peculiarity of this wall is to possess many faults and crevasses to explore!
- Diver's heaven
Another beautiful site full of fish. We often start at Black Forest and we finish at Diver's heaven.
- I think that the simplest and make a day trip from Panglao (or elsewhere since Bohol), whether snorkeling or diving but it is possible to sleep on the island.
- There is only one resort, the Balicasag island diving resortBungalows run by island natives, single rooms and dormitories are available.
More info on accommodation in the full article on Panglao.
GET TO BALICASAG
The easiest way to get to Balicasag is to take a day trip from Panglao.
To get to Panglao, the best is to look the full article here.
MY DIVING REVIEW ON BALICASAG
If you go to Panglao, a day diving in Balicasag is O-BLI-GA-TOIRE! For having also done Apo island (which is a priori much better known and famous), I preferred the dives in Balicasag. I took full eyes for 3 dives, schools of fish, beautiful coral, turtles, large pelagic and macro!
Articles that might interest you:
- Top 10 dives in PHILIPPINES
- MALAPASCUA: all information
- BOHOL: the most beautiful dives in the Visayas !
- PANGLAO: the most beautiful dives in Cebu !
- APO ISLAND: superb dives
- DONSOL: dive with whale sharks
- DONSOL: snorkel with whale sharks
- MOALBOAL: a bench of 3000 sardines !
- Whale sharks: OSLOB or DONSOL?